Editor’s note: This article has been updated to include additional donation information.
At approximately 10 p.m. on April 11, a fire was reported at the GRACE food pantry and community clinic, located at 6143 E. Walnut St. in Grapevine.
GRACE is a nonprofit relief agency that provides food, clothing, financial assistance and other necessities to people who are struggling with a limited income or recent emergency.
Officials said they think the fire broke out in the kitchen used for the healthy cooking classes GRACE provides. The door between the clinic and the food pantry was closed, preventing the spread of flames, but the entire facility was nonetheless affected by the heat and the smoke. It is unknown yet if the food pantry equipment and supplies are salvageable.
“It’s devastating,” GRACE Executive Director Shonda Schaefer said. “… I am mostly concerned from an operations standpoint on the clinic patients because we are their only option.”
A pop-up clinic opened Thursday morning at First Baptist Church, 301 E. Texas St., Grapevine.
“There was a 9:30 [a.m.] clinic scheduled, so we got all of the patients to go over there, we got our volunteers over there,” Schaefer said. “They’ve got no equipment, but at least they can be seen and talked to, and we’ll figure out the next step.”
GRACE is in the process of expanding to unite the building next door with the current facility. Schaefer said this plan is still in place, but that the current facility may now have to be rebuilt along with the additional building.
“It may just all be absorbed into that project,” Schaefer said. “It may look a little different. Really those pieces [of the expansion]won’t change, and even in here there are only a few things we might adjust, otherwise, it’s just rebuild. Adjust and rebuild.”
Schaefer said GRACE has partners with the food pantry that will help those in need get food, but donations of small gift cards to grocery stores in amounts of $25 or less are encouraged. In addition, pre-sorted and assembled food baskets with a variety of items are also needed to further help those affected by the loss of the food pantry.
Donations can be delivered to the GRACE main office at 610 Shady Brook Drive, Grapevine. To donate online click here. For more information about donating to GRACE call 817-488-7009.
“We are obviously heartsick but so blessed,” Schaefer said. “Nobody was in the building, nobody was hurt. … There are so many blessings. The doors between the pantry and the clinic were both shut. So there’s smoke damage but there’s no fire or heat damage in the pantry, thank God. It could have been a whole lot worse.”